No one would deny our immigration system is not working. Legally immigrating takes too long, we a limit on the number of high-skilled, highly educated immigrants we allow in that is too low to meet demand and we have millions of people in the country illegally, either having walked across a porous border or overstayed their visas. How to address this broken system will be the political issue of the year.
U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., has become the face of the push for reform. He wrote an op-ed in this week’s Wall Street Journal inviting public input on the issue. Here are mine.
Dear Senator Rubio,
Why does immigration reform have to be “comprehensive?” Can’t we just fix the aspects of our broken system everyone agrees on and debate the rest later?
The need for an increase in the number of high-skilled H1B visas is a simple fix that could be done tomorrow. This would help keep high paying, hi-tech jobs in this country and may eventually lead to the return of some that have been outsourced. That’s an easy win.
That our current system for legal immigration is too slow and out of date is beyond argument. Reforming and streamlining it would be another tap-in putt that could be done quickly and easily.
Border security should be another no-brainer. Maintaining our sovereignty should be beyond partisan dispute. Sadly, it’s not.
The insistence by you and your fellow “Gang of 8” members that all of the points everyone agrees on will get a vote only if a “pathway to citizenship” is created for the illegal aliens already here is where you lose me. Why, to pass reforms that will make our system stronger, do we have to include something so unpopular and fundamentally unfair?
I realize you and your fellow reformers don’t like the term “illegal alien,” but I don’t care. It’s accurate and truthful. Liberals play word games; that you would too is disturbing. Words have meaning; that you and so many of your fellow “reformers” would play this game, their game, makes me not trust any of you.
I know you say your plan would be a long pathway to citizenship. But why must it lead there at all? Illegal immigrants broke the law, knowingly and willingly. Rewarding them with citizenship flouts everything we know and believe about the rule of law.
That they came here only to find a better life for their families is irrelevant. If that is justification for awarding the greatest gift this nation can bestow on someone, what does it say about those who wait to come legally. Do they care less about their families because they did things right and didn’t crash the border?
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